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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Acceptance

I thought long and hard about which employment offer to choose but ultimately went with the larger company. Both companies would have been excellent but Company B just seems more adequately resourced to train me and offer the types of assignments that will be most beneficial at this point in my career (not to mention I talked them into a generous sign-on bonus to sweeten the deal).

I took a little vacation between jobs to visit with my family and ended up stranded in an airport on the East Coast for most of the day yesterday. I thought, "here I am, ready to begin a job that requires me to travel 80% of the time, am I going to regret this?" I took a shuttle bus home from the airport and the lady sitting next to me was also a CRA but she is an independent consultant and runs her own company. Right now she is working on an HIV study that has been going on for 5 years and the protocol has been amended 7 times. I don't know what study my new company might assign me to, but I hope it will be a quick one so I can learn the ropes and then move on to a new one. I have been guaranteed that I will not work on more than 2 protocols at a time but we'll see.

Orientation with my new company is on November 5th so I am working to finish up loose ends for my current employer and wrapping up some study monitoring at one of my sites in Tacoma, WA for the next couple of days.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Offer(s)

I'm sitting in the airport heading home from my interview. I hope this will be the last interview for a while. Every 6 months I get the urge to switch jobs so I finally just chose a job that changes every 6 months, Clinical Research Associate (CRA). A CRA is responsible for traveling to MD offices, hospitals, and academic centers to ensure that clinical research for new drugs and devices is being completed in compliance with federal guidelines and International standards. I verify that subject's rights are being protected at all times and that the study is being carried out as designed across numerous or individual study sites. Clinical trials end and new ones begin all the time so the job definitely changes frequently.

I've been working in the industry for a few years and I know that CRAs at Clinical Research Organizations (CROs) get to work on a variety of different studies and the job is always different because you travel and work for all types of sponsors (pharmaceutical or biotech companies of all sizes) so I have spent the last few months identifying, researching, and applying to specifically these types of companies.

I now have two offers to consider. Company A pays $5K more than my current employer and company B is offering $10K more. The benefits are more or less matched but the corporate culture is different. Company B has around 4,000 employees and plans to double by 2010 as opposed to Company A that only has 400 employees (but also planning to double in size). Both positions are called regional positions which means I would set up a home office and work there .5-1 day each week. Every other day I would be flying or driving to different clinical trial sites or the corporate CRO site for training and development. Company A will need me to travel all over the US and probably Internationally (I still like flying). Company B will keep me close to home but this means I will have to drive more (I hate driving).

I have one week to decide so now the adventure begins!